June 22, 2010

the company I keep

This is my view at work:
It is open and bright, which brings to mind a museum or an art gallery, except there is nothing on the walls at all, and the only things in the room are me, my desk, and a sad fern in the corner. Sorry. I'm bored just typing that. Moving on.

Now that summer has settled in and every manner of creature is running amuck, all sorts of drama unfolds in front of those windows. Spiders seem to love this spot and every morning, I have to clear a web or six away from the doors, although I can't reach the highest corners.

The neighborhood sparrows are cool with this, though, because whatever spiders I can't dispose of are their snacks. All day long they clatter at the base of the metal doors and hover in the corners, pecking at the elusive spiders until they have to drop to the ground. What the sparrows really need is a hummingbird's structure and heart rate, but they make do, swooping in and out.

Once in a while, one will land in the crook of the door handle and perch there, give the glass a rattling peck, and lift away again. What's even better is when one swoops in and comes back with a shred of cobweb stuck to its beak, and proceeds to completely freak out, flailing around like a toddler with scotch tape clinging to her fingers. Who hasn't experienced the trauma of blindly walking into a spiderweb in the woods?

I guess what strikes me is that we humans have to keep up our structures and living spaces constantly, because the moment we stop, the moment a building is abandoned or forgotten, nature begins the slow and unrelenting process of reclaiming it. It may take a while, but sun and wind and moisture and critters take our roofs and walls apart brick by brick. The spiders and sparrows would carry on their wee food chain contentedly, with or without my comings and goings every day.

June 17, 2010

an indicator of my future

Two nights this week, I have crawled in bed while neighborhood birds are still chattering outside our well windows.

I'll let you know when I start eating dinner at 5:00, and try to answer the remote when the phone rings.

June 15, 2010

a little more nonsense for you

You know what's good? Homemade sweet tea with a slice of orange. I could suck it down all day.

You know what will be good? The solitary Dr. Pepper that made it back from Michigan untouched that I am hoarding for an emergency. I'm sure you know the sort of emergency I mean: the kind that involves stress or a hot, shitty spell in rush hour traffic or a sweet tooth attack. If the sweet tea isn't cutting it already.

I also enjoy the cheapo flags sprouting out of car windows everywhere. The vibe I get is that, for some people and maybe even whole nations, the World Cup is a more unifying event than the Olympics, and almost definitely more exciting. I've tried to watch a couple of games, and I'm starting to think soccer is like baseball or hockey for me: fun to watch live, a ritual-filled event in itself, but impossibly mind-numbing to watch on tv. But maybe I need to give it more time.

Another good thing is that I think I may have a cute dress or two to choose from for weddings this summer, but that leads down a treacherous road because my gut has convinced my brain that none, and I mean NONE of my shoes are good enough any more. My gut is saying the shoes are fine for what they are, that there's no shame in it, and I can go ahead and settle if I want to, but I should not forget that there is probably something better out there. Shoes cuter, sparklier, more stylish, and paradoxically more comfortable. My gut is a troublemaker.

June 10, 2010


- so many days of near-torrential rain that I haven't needed to water my garden in about twelve days.
- when, on an ordinary walk, Toby spies a squirrel in his path and switches into Hunter Mode. His head and torso glide along parallel to the ground, while his shoulders pump like greased pistons- even though he's on a leash and never actually goes for it, he makes me believe he could nab that cheeky rodent. No problem.
- Mr. Dyson. I have a serious crush on this man. Not sure if it's because of his accent or because maybe I just want one of his vacuum cleaners. Either one.
- it has been so cool lately that we can sleep under a sheet, blanket, and comforter. With the windows open. A rare thing in my past experiences of June.

June 5, 2010

knit update

Since these have delivered safely to my sis-in-law, I'm not spoiling any suprises. First, a lacy leafy blanket that looks orange, but it's really more the color of watermelon:

And, since this cotton yarn just goes on and on unbelievably, a couple wee hats:

Did I mention she's having a girl? No?

As always, my blogging has lagged because we can't seem to stay put for more than five days in a row. We spent Victoria Day weekend in Grand Rapids, seeing my brother graduate, and then Bryan took off for an extended Memorial Weekend while Toby and I carried on with our daily lives.

Mid-summer, I will head to Michigan FOUR WEEKENDS IN A ROW, which I know sounds insane but will be for all good reasons. I'm not looking forward to that repeated stretch of highway in a car that appears to be starting menopause and has surging hot flashes in bad traffic- but I'm excited for each of the events and that will pull me through. A cottage weekend with dear friends, a wedding, a preaching opportunity for Bryan, and another (what promises to be lovely) wedding. All life-affirming and encouraging events to take part in.

In its own strange way, being so much closer to friends and family has prevented a true, consistent settling where we are, or at least that's how it feels to me. It's tricky to plan ahead and commit to things when our travel schedule is so flexible and unpredictable. Mixed blessing, I guess? But it's also summertime, so maybe that's part of the flurry of activity. It just feels like I shouldn't bother putting my suitcase away for a long time, which isn't exactly reassuring. I just have to take each week as it turns and work with the time I've got.